BRATTLEBORO -- The Selectboard has narrowed its town manager search down to two candidates and the town could have a new manager named within two or three weeks.
After receiving 43 applications the board interviewed six candidates last week, and two of those applicants have been invited back for a second round of interviews, which the board expects to conduct this week.
Selectboard Chairman David Gartenstein said at Tuesday night's board meeting that the board was impressed with every candidate during the first round of interviews.
"I think it's fair to say that most or all of them would be viable town manager candidates," Gartenstein said. "We were very pleased with the group of candidates with whom we spoke. They have solid experience and we found them to be very useful and very productive interviews."
The two candidates who were expected to be in town Wednesday and Thursday will meet with the citizens' committee which was set up during the first town manager search in the fall.
The candidates also will meet with a group of town staff members, as well as with the Selectboard for a final, in-depth interview.
After those meetings the board will meet with the committees, and then meet in executive session to discuss the last interviews.
"There is other work that needs to be done, but we are cautiously optimistic that we will be able to move the process forward relatively quickly," Gartenstein said. "We hope to be able to announce a decision in the next couple, to three weeks. It is a very exciting time."
The Selectboard has been looking for a permanent town manager since Barbara Sondag made a surprise announcement in June that she would be leaving.
Assistant Town Manager Patrick Moreland was named interim Town Manager after Sondag left in July.
The town advertised the position in late summer, held a series of interviews, and narrowed the search down to two candidates, but was unable to come to terms with the applicants.
Moreland has been serving as interim town manager and the Selectboard reopened the search process in January.
The board also increased the starting salary range this time around from $75,000 to $90,000, to $80,000 to $95,000.
At Tuesday night's Selectboard meeting the board also established an advisory committee to help the town make the transition to a pay-as-you-throw trash collection system.
The committee will include Peter Gaskill of Triple T Trucking, Bob Spencer of the Windham Solid Waste Solid Waste Management District, and Moss Kahler, who has been serving as the town's compost consultant.
The town is also accepting applications for two citizen members of the advisory committee, and will accept applications until May 29.
The finance director and town manager will also sit in on the committee meetings and the committee will develop a plan for a unit-based pricing system for the collection of solid waste.
The committee is expected to report to the Selectboard every 60 days.
The Selectboard also agreed to accept a $10,500 Vermont Downtown Program Grant which will be used to support the installation of two electric vehicle charging stations in the Brattleboro Transportation Center.
Howard Weiss-Tisman can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 802-254-2311, ext. 279.